Ben Brode, a key leader in the success of Blizzard’s Hearthstone, today announced he’s leaving the company to set up a new venture.
Brode was on the original launch team for collectible card strategy game Hearthstone a decade ago. He leaves the company as game director for Hearthstone, which boasts more than 70 million players and has established itself on the professional esports circuit.
In a post on the Battle.net forums, Brode wrote of his pride in the Hearthstone team and the game’s accomplishments.
“People tell me that Hearthstone brought their family closer together, or that they became close friends with people they met,” Brode said. “Others tell me they were inspired by Hearthstone to become game developers themselves. It’s incredible to be a part of something that touches so many people.”
When the game launched in 2014, Polygon’s review gave it a rare perfect score.
Back in 2003, Brode worked as a pizza delivery man, regularly bringing food to the Blizzard offices, where late night working sessions were the norm. He snagged a job as a game tester on Warcraft 3, working his way up into game design. He was on the launch design team for Hearthstone’s cards, which are based in the Warcraft universe. He eventually became lead designer for the game.
At this point, there are no details on his next venture.
“I’m going to help start a new company,” he wrote. “We’ll probably make games, but we haven’t figured anything else out, yet. I’m looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again.”